To say the pandemic altered business operations is an understatement. As the pandemic worsened, organizations had to tighten their belts. Unfortunately for many, compensation, most notably raises, were a significant casualty of 2020 and the global pandemic. 24 Seven Talent’s latest job market report found that only a third of the companies surveyed raised employee salaries last year, and that a similar fraction of respondents reported that their salaries were cut.
While these numbers are concerning, what should be most worrisome to employers is employee sentiment around compensation. Our report found that “less than a quarter of employees are happy with their pay, and even less (15%) stay in the job because of salary.” According to corroborated research, compensation is the most significant trigger for a job switch. This, coupled with the increasingly negative sentiment associated with workplace satisfaction - only about a third of respondents are happy with their current positions - is a recipe for disaster, retention-wise. Given these statistics, looking at budgets and allocating enough dollars for proper compensation is essential for businesses looking to retain elusive digital talent in our post pandemic world.
One place to do that is to look at the benefits and support you offer employees. Stress levels are at an all time high as a result of the pandemic - from extended hours, to childcare, and increased screen time, employees are keenly aware of the care and support they need from employers in order to be successful and happy at work. For company leaders, this means considering the types and quantity of perks and benefits you can offer to current and potential employees. Our report found that the perks most valued by employees include flexibility, unlimited PTO, medical coverage, and 401k match.
The next thing to consider is the type of talent available on the market. Covid-19, lockdowns, and social distancing forced the business world to embrace digitalization. A digital workforce is a trend we expect to continue, as over 50% of Americans have continued working remotely either all the time or most of the time as of January 2021. Digital talent, whether full-time employees or freelancers, will continue to become an integral part of operations. Employers need to be prepared to attract top quality talent for this new world. Joseph Fuller, who co-leads Harvard Business School's Managing the Future of Work initiative, believes the key to boosting retention of top-notch talent is creating a blended workforce. According to Fuller, this means creating a workforce “that blends talent sourced externally and employed temporarily with full-time workers.” As a specialized freelance recruiter, 24 Seven has worked with several organizations on their hybrid work models, delivering quality freelance candidates who are ready to hit the ground running. Moreover, over half of our freelance placements eventually convert to full-time positions in the companies they were placed, adapting to the company’s needs and integrating themselves into the culture.
As we move forward in a post pandemic world, it will be more important than ever for businesses to look at their compensation and benefits and make the necessary adjustments to attract and retain quality digital talent.